[caption id="attachment_15999" align="aligncenter" width="421"] Photo courtesy of iStock/hatman12[/caption] Today marks the end of an era for me. As millions of kids across Canada face their first day of school, I face my first day without school. After 18 years of cramming for tests and writing 20-page papers, I am finally out in the real, working world. I thought I would be so relieved that the days of essays and reading lists were behind me, and for the most part I am. But today, after watching kids climb onto the buses with their new backpacks, I found myself getting nostalgic about school. September just doesn't feel the same without a trip to the store to buy back to school supplies. I remember how important it was to find just the right package of pencil crayons. Or to collect colourful binders – one for each subject. Sadly, adulthood doesn't offer a reason to buy 100 shades of pencil crayons. Then, there's the mentorship aspect of school. I miss having teachers who inspire you … or anger you. Either way. They’re the ones who motivate you. For instance, I never thought I could write until I had a teacher who pushed and pushed until I tried writing my own story. There are also many things I never dreamed I would miss. The awkward school dances. The all-night studying sessions. Biology dissections. Broken hearts. Anything involving math. And today, I so strangely miss all of these things. What I miss most of all, however, is getting to learn new things everyday. Being an adult just doesn't always offer you the time to learn about the Byzantine Empire or how to add fractions. When the switch to the real, working world happens, we spend more time worrying about finding a proper job and maintaining our livelihood. It's funny that it takes leaving school to realize what a luxury learning is. Earlier this week, we asked our friends on Facebook to share their best school memory. Here are some of our favourite responses: "Free milk and cafeteria lunches for less than 35 cents." -- Walter Z. "Mr. Lucy our principal staying late into the night flooding the frozen school yard with a hose, to make an ice arena so we could all ice skate in the school yard." -- Sandy B. "The smell of Crayola crayons." -- Susan M.D. "Riding in cars with boys." -- Barbara S.A. "A little red schoolhouse in rural Saskatchewan called Gideon School with one room, one teacher and Grades 1 to 8." –Roy and Marianne R. I hope all those kids heading back to school today had a great first day—and that they got to use their box full of pencil crayons. What do you miss most about school?